ANALYSIS OF THE POLITICAL LANGUAGE

ANALYSIS OF THE POLITICAL LANGUAGE

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Code
57459
ACADEMIC YEAR
2019/2020
CREDITS
6 credits during the 2nd year of 8769 News, Media and Publishing (LM-19) GENOVA
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
SPS/01
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (News, Media and Publishing)
semester
2° Semester
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

This course will analyze the main forms and functions of political language: ideological function, communication aiming at persuasion, and communication aiming at finding common norms of justice. In the last part of the course we will analyze some exemplary speeches of political leaders. 

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course aims at studying the language of political theory and practice, the main models of analysis of political discourse, and the nature and functioning of political communication. A special attention will be given to the metamorphosis of contemporary political vocabulary - caused by radical cultural and economic changes at the global level - and to the impact that new media patterns of communication have on the formation of political discourse and communicative strategies. The teaching materials may be provided through the online platform Aulaweb. 

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

Besides outlining the main models to understand political language, the course will also provide the conceptual tools to assess the validity of political debates, also appealing to the idea of public reason. In the last part of the course these conceptual instruments will be applied to some important cases of political discourses to assess their congruence and validity with respect to the criteria studied during the course.

At the end of the course each student will

  • know the main theories in the analysis of political language
  • be familiar with the main concepts and tools of rhetoric
  • be capable of autonomously and critically analyzing the speech of a political leader
  • be capable of establishing a relation between the reality of political speeches with the demands of public reason.

Teaching methods

Lectures in the first and second part, students’ seminars in the third part. In the first part, the course will provide the main conceptual tools to analyze political language, in the second part the course will deal with the philosophical theories of public reason and public debate. In the third part, the conceptual tools of the first two parts will be employed by the students to analyze, understand and deconstruct the structure and content of the proposed politicians’ speeches.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

The course will be divided in three parts. The first part will deal with the main theories of political language and with the outline of its three main functions (expression of one's identity, persuasion, agreement on common rules of justice).

  • Theories of political language between political theory and linguistics
  • Edelmann, Lassman and the problem of framing
  • Elements of pragmatics

The second part will address the two main theories (by Habermas and Rawls) that propose a robust understanding of the third function of political language.

  • Habermas’ theory of communicative action
  • Rawls: theory of justice, pluralism and public reason

The third part of the course will be mainly seminar-based and will concern some important discourses of political actors. Possible speeches – to be agreed upon with the students – by Berlusconi, Grillo, Iotti, Mussolini, Obama, Renzi, Trump.  

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

READING LIST

Cedroni – Dell’Era Il linguaggio politico, Roma, Carocci, 2014, chaps. 2-5, pp. 59-174

Petrucciani, Introduzione a Habermas, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2000, pp. 68-105, 133-139 (But reading also the beginning of the book may be helpful)

Maffettone, Introduzione a Rawls, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2010, pp. 92-137. (But reading also the beginning of the book may be helpful)

READING LIST FOR NON-ATTENDING STUDENTS

Cedroni – Dell’Era Il linguaggio politico, Roma, Carocci, 2014, chaps. 3-5, pp. 103-174

Petrucciani, Introduzione a Habermas, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2000, pp. 68-105, 133-139 (But reading also the beginning of the book may be helpful)

Two options among the following:

  • Fedel, Saggi sul linguaggio e l’oratoria politica, Milano, Giuffrè, 1999, cap 3, pp. 111-160 (On Mussolini's rhetorics) 
  • Santulli, Le parole del potere, il potere delle parole, Milano, Franco Angeli, 2005, pp. 68-101 (On Berlusconi's rhetorics)
  • Maffettone, Introduzione a Rawls, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2010, pp. 92-137. (But reading also the beginning of the book may be helpful)

FURTHER READINGS

Bianchi, Pragmatica del linguaggio, Laterza

Mazzoleni, La comunicazione politica, Il mulino

Riva, Fake news, il Mulino

Santulli, Le parole del potere, il potere delle parole, Milano, Franco Angeli, 2005

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Ricevimento: Students interested in arranging a meeting should previously contact me with an email. 

Exam Board

FEDERICO ZUOLO (President)

DANIELE ROLANDO

CARLO PENCO

MIRELLA PASINI

VALERIA OTTONELLI

LESSONS

Teaching methods

Lectures in the first and second part, students’ seminars in the third part. In the first part, the course will provide the main conceptual tools to analyze political language, in the second part the course will deal with the philosophical theories of public reason and public debate. In the third part, the conceptual tools of the first two parts will be employed by the students to analyze, understand and deconstruct the structure and content of the proposed politicians’ speeches.

EXAMS

Exam description

Oral exam. Seminars (for those who attend the classes) will count as half of the final mark. Students who cannot attend the classes will be assigned an additional reading.

Assessment methods

Oral exam will test the students’ capacity to critically understand politicians’ speeches through the lens of the conceptual tools of the first part of the course. Besides clarity in exposition and mastery of the theories analyzed during the course, the oral exam will test the students’ capacity to autonomously and creatively deal with new examples provided by current and past political communication.

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
16/07/2020 10:00 GENOVA Orale
28/07/2020 10:00 GENOVA Orale
02/09/2020 10:00 GENOVA Orale